Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Dose of Reality

I know, I know, my life is pretty much perfect here in blogging land. We are bedazzling and playing in the leaves and freeing little mice and on and on until you are all plain miserable at the perfectness of it all (with the one exception being that you can feel at least a little smug about my recent lack of smarts). We all like to post our happy times and cute times and so sometimes we forget that people have normal not so perfect times. To celebrate that, I thought I'd give you all a nice dose of reality for one evening.

Mike has had to work super late this week so the kids and I have been on our own. Tonight I decided to let them carve their pumpkins. All was going so well as I helped scrape their seeds and let them scoop them out. I took a few pictures and was even thinking thoughts to the tune of, "Who came up with carving pumpkins? That was only the best idea ever. And why are my kids so darn cute and good?" Goldie happily instructed me how to carve her pumpkin and was seeming pleased with the results. Penny wandered about trying to eat off of the giant spoons we were using to get rid of pumpkin seeds. Daisy carved her pumpkin quite expertly with not so much as an ounce of help from me (though I wasn't altogether certain she should have the knife). Abe worked on carving the face he had painstakingly drawn on his pumpkin. All was quite perfect.


Then . . . Abe cut off one of his pumpkin's teeth. He immediately began to despair that all was lost, but I quickly found toothpicks and promised all would be well once we stuck it back in. He then wanted me to finish the job of cutting. Unfortunately he had drawn very tightly spaced detailed little things which made cutting them out nearly impossible. Soon I had severed another tooth -- more assurances of the toothpicks sticking things back in place were followed. We made it through this just as Penny decided things were no fun anymore and began to whine. Abe insisted I cut out the "beard" on his pumpkin -- which was pretty much touching the mouth and the bottom of the pumpkin. Careful as I tried to be, in a moment or two of minute error, the pumpkin's lower jaw was completley severed! (I can't type that now with out chuckling, but at the time it was the last straw). The reattached teeth now unattached themselves and Abe began to cry and insist that he didn't even want a pumpkin. About this point Penny took up serious serious scream crying -- yanking and pulling on me. I tried to calm her (though I was getting frustrated) as I vainly told Abe we could still fix it or we could do a totally new pumpkin tomorrow -- even as he grumped off to the other room his life and any fun of the evening apparently ruined. The girls were begging for candles and Penny was now hysterical as I tried with mounting frustration to fix the disaster of a pumpkin and call hopeless reassurances (hampered by Penny's cries) to Abe.

By the end, as I forced Abe to come take a picture with his makeshift pumpkin (jaw loosely attached -- one tooth lost for good), tried to calm Penny who had really no apparent reason for her total and sudden insanity, and did my best to scoop up pumpkin pulp and newspaper (one handed due to Penny)-- dropping half of it all over the floor because the newspaper had disolved, I am not sure whether I was ready to start crying myself or simply start screaming.
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Still, after a few tense moments I determined to try and salvage the miserable evening by going ahead with our planned tradition of cider and doughnuts. I warmed cider as I tried to get the furious Penny into jammies so I could just put her to bed. Abe sat gloomily by needing and not getting my attention. I set the girls' cups next to them saying, "It's very hot, wait til I get you a spoon so you can sip it. . . ." I turned my back to lift Penny from my bed where I'd left her only to hear a sputter and then cry of anguish as Goldie apparently tried to gulp her cider (oblivious to my words), spilled it everywhere in her shock and began to sob.
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Anyway, it didn't get too much worse after that because I put everyone to bed post haste. But, amidst all the joy and fun there are plenty of those moments sprinkled in. It is alright. Even as I sit here now with the sound of Abe turning pages in his room (I can hear that over the baby monitor -- which means he is under his covers with a flashlight reading instead of sleeping), I think (well, partly I think, "How am I supposed to handle another baby?"), but another very real part of me thinks, "I am grateful I am a mom. My kid's are great kids. That wasn't really so bad and even almost makes me chuckle now -- more often I need to remember that I will shake my head and laugh later. Life is pretty good."

17 comments:

Tia Juana said...

Well that is a down right sobering post. Reminding us all that bad stuff happens to good people. And pumpkins.

Abe's picture makes ME want to cry. I mean, c'mon, the red eyes are enough to put me over the edge. I'm a crier, and I know how hard he was crying to have that puffy of an face with red eye. Pitiful. I hope he finds it as funny tomorrow as you will. And I wonder if his pride will get the better of him and he will ban himself from pumpkins this year.

Did you think about Bedazzling the teeth on - like brace's or a filling? That would be cool. And a little funny.

For a second, when you spoke of reality, I thought you were FINALLY going to post the gas story.

Women Afire said...

Funny, and hard . . . there with you. We carved tonight as well - but thankfully, Jon was home. Pumpkin carving is always a challenge though.

-Marz

Tia Juana said...

Oh and I burned my mouth the other day and I thought I was going to die. But if I had a donut I would have wanted to live.

Lois burned her mouth on hot chocolate at the Yearbook staff Bonfire last week and because I didn't sympathize with her and her burnt tongue, she chose not to sympathize with me.

I sympathize with that girl - whichever one it was, I can't remember now that I'm not looking at the post - who burned herself on her hot cider.

And I even knew the soup was hot.

Tia Juana said...

OH my ... It freaks me out when people are posting at the same time as me.

Perla said...

i was sure somebody was going to cut their finger off. luckily that didn't happen. but that was a really good reminder. isn't it much better to write these things down to give us a fresher perspective? this week one of my children has been the whiniest cryingest craziest person ever and i have thought, 'what am i doing thinking to have another baby?' but it is all good. it really is.

Krissy-loo said...

Such a good post, Nance. Truly, nobody's life is without plenty of failures and frustrations, and good intentions and plans going sadly awry. It's good to remember that. It helps me when someone can share those miserable experiences and laugh about them and get over them. Not deny that they happen and sugar-coat things, but accept life with all it's hard parts, and still say it's worth it. Love you!

Karen said...

It is amazing how children and the hardest, funnest, most frustrating, joyful, sobering and silly inducing part of life.

We will carve our pumpkin Friday afternoon, because I am not as brave as you. I need two adults to do that type of activity with four children. Nancy, once again.....you are super mom.

Tash said...

oh man thanks for the honesty. Yeah isn't blogging your own false reality fun sometimes. YOu look back on fonder memories of the pictures than they were. Is that cynical? well I balked on pumpkins tonight but if that was what it was all about I am glad
jk
love you nancho

Tash said...

ps I was also sure a finger would be off and there would be ER pics

jami said...

i'm with shannon-i kept waiting for the "and she chopped her finger off!" ... so i'm glad no blood was invloved - but the tears are sad enough!

Nicole said...

Well...Nancy you are always positive even when things are not!!! It's funny when our kids get into that mood. Mine seem to do it every other day...one day I will be thinking..They are so great, I am the best Mom...The next will be what the crap...I am the worst Mom ever. And we continue that cycl at our family. I don't know maybe it's having a 3 year old.. At least you are brave enough to have another. Haven't gotten on that train yet!! If they would only stay babies just a little longer...But we love those cuties!

Liz said...

You really are a nice mom to plan a night of activities including hot cider without Mike to help you. We tried a similar activity and Jay ended up doing all of the scooping and most of the carving. Hopefully Abe will remember that he got to carve pumpkins and not that his pumpkin had terminal jaw disease. Maybe the pumpkin tooth fairy could come and that would make him feel better.

Kelly said...

My Nick insisted on carving his vampire teeth and I had to sit back and watch...all the while thinking, he is definitely going to poke his eye out...I am indeed grateful he didn't.

Kelly said...

Ooh spooky, I was comment 13 my favorite number, did I ruin it by then posting 14?

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

Well, after reading all the comments, I can clearly see that I should just count my lucky stars that blood wasn't spilt. Trust me, I can quite see the blessing in that since (from the frequency of that comment) I can only assume that such a thing could have been all too likely with children and knives in the same room!

Lover of Sweets said...

Ohhhh the reality of it all! I felt like I was THERE! I had to speed read because of the growing intensity! In my mind I knew it would turn out ok because there's always the hope of putting them to bed.
It was also very sweet.
I'm glad you're so grateful, being a mom is definitely hard sometimes but so rewarding.

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